Thursday, 17 April 2014

Hello all,

We have some very important and exciting news to share. Please have a look through this email when you get the chance.

Bridgend Inspiring Growth (BIG) has received support and an invite to apply for development funding from Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s Growing Community Asset’s programme to further develop plans for the renovation of Bridgend Farmhouse.
This is an enormous step forwards, and a move towards capital grant funding for the full renovation and running costs. We intend for this next stage of development work to start from June going forwards.

The Bid
As updated to all back in mid February, we submitted a bid to the council for the farmhouse before it closed for sale. We understand there was lots of interest, and our bid is still being considered alongside one other bidder. The final decision on this will be made at a council committee meeting by councillors on April 29th, to be ratified on May 5th. Obviously this is absolutely fundamental to the project. If anyone is able to offer any final support or help before then, or would like more information, please get in touch.
These meetings are open to the public with a small viewing area, time still to be confirmed.
If you are free and would like to come along to show your support on that day and view the decisions and discussions please get in contact asap - We can provide bus tickets, directions and meet with anyone nearby if people need.

Community Share Issue
We have had lots of interest and expressions of interest submitted for owning shares in Bridgend Farmhouse. This is fantastic and shows the strength of support people are willing to offer. It provides us with good potential financial backing for the project, and can only be strengthened by further shareholders showing expression of interest. Depending on the decision on the sale we will develop this further. Let us know if you'd like more info about this.

Community Development Worker
We were delighted to appoint Hilary Morrison, our first Community Development worker, at the start of March, thanks to funding from City of Edinburgh council, and the Lord Provost. She is a very experienced community development and arts worker, and has worked in and around the surrounding communities of Bridgend. She has hit the ground running and is already establishing lots of new groups and projects in healthy eating, walking, reminiscence, photography, bug hotels, and more. 

Look out for an article on success of the lottery grant funding in local news coming soon. If anyone works for or knows others who work in the media interested in sharing what is happening with Bridgend Farmhouse please let us know. We have a press release and photos we can send on to anyone that does.

Participatory Design Workshops
Darla Eno, who has been a student on placement with us from the University of Edinburgh has recently completed a report on the workshops she carried out last year with local groups and school kids around design ideas for the farmhouse. A film has been made about this and distributed to those involved, and was a really fantastic project. The project report and photos will soon be available on the publications tab on our website. We wanted to thank Darla for her incredibly dedicated and impressive work.

The last two months has seen some incredible displays of support from a breadth of different people and groups. We are very glad to have received the official support of Malcolm Fraser, Leader of the Scottish Government Town Centre Review team, MP Ian Murray, MSP Kenny Macaskill and MSP Alison Johnstone, amongst others.

Finally, if you have not yet and want to show your support by signing and sharing our online petition, you can do that here:

Thanks to everyone for continued support, all the expressions of interest, and for all your help and involvement. We hope it will all be worth it. We will send out news on the decision as soon as we know more.